A rifle with a scope on it.

5 Best Scout Scopes Reviewed in 2021 – Test Results 

5 Best Scout Scopes Reviewed in 2021 – Test Results 

Table of Contents

    If you are a hunter on a solitary “hit-and-run” mission, the scope for a scout rifle may be for you. Scouts fire quickly, carefully, and then vanish back into the bushes. The term “scout rifle” was coined by Colonel Jeff Cooper, founder of the American Pistol Institute, author of well-known gun books, and known as the inventor of the four basic rules of gun safety. In his eyes, the scout rifle should be a do-everything rifle that is “short, light, handy, versatile.” The rifle should be no longer than 39” and be chambered for .308 Winchester. And the logic goes that if your rifle embodies the qualities that enable quick action, your scope should as well. 

    In this article, we have picked out the best scout rifle scopes on the market today. Not only are they great scopes for speed, clarity, and durability, but they also have some of the best scout scope prices on Amazon. Keep in mind your price point and what you will be using it for. We will now go over each of our top picks in detail, so you can find the best one for you. Here we go!

    In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

    Overview
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    Title
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    Price
    $149.00
    Rating
    -
    Details
    Overview
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    Title
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    Price
    $149.00
    Rating
    -
    Details

    5 Best Scout Scopes Reviewed - Overview

    Overview
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    UTG 2-7X44 11" - 9.5" Long Eye Relief 30mm Scout Scope Glass Reticle
    Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex
    Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting Riflescope, 2X-7X-32mm
    Bushnell Trophy Scout Rifle Scope with Multi-X Reticle, 2-7 x 36mm, Matte Black
    Title
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    UTG 2-7X44 11" - 9.5" Long Eye Relief 30mm Scout Scope Glass Reticle
    Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex
    Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting Riflescope, 2X-7X-32mm
    Bushnell Trophy Scout Rifle Scope with Multi-X Reticle, 2-7 x 36mm, Matte Black
    Price
    $149.00
    $199.99
    Price not available
    Price not available
    Price not available
    Rating
    -
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    Overview
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    Title
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    Price
    $149.00
    Rating
    -
    Details
    Overview
    UTG 2-7X44 11" - 9.5" Long Eye Relief 30mm Scout Scope Glass Reticle
    Title
    UTG 2-7X44 11" - 9.5" Long Eye Relief 30mm Scout Scope Glass Reticle
    Price
    $199.99
    Rating
    -
    Details
    Overview
    Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex
    Title
    Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    -
    Details
    Overview
    Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting Riflescope, 2X-7X-32mm
    Title
    Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting Riflescope, 2X-7X-32mm
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    -
    Details
    Overview
    Bushnell Trophy Scout Rifle Scope with Multi-X Reticle, 2-7 x 36mm, Matte Black
    Title
    Bushnell Trophy Scout Rifle Scope with Multi-X Reticle, 2-7 x 36mm, Matte Black
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    -
    Details

    1UTG 2-7x44 30mm Long Eye Relief Scout Scope

    We like this UTG 2-7x44 due to its versatility. You will find that it works well and has a large end for viewing. It can magnify from 2x to 7x. Some users complain that it gets a bit blurry around 4x magnification. However, what this model may lack in clarity, it makes up for in price. 

    One great feature is the illuminated reticle, which comes in handy. Low light shots are just easier and cleaner with this 30mm tube and 44mm objective lens. It allows all the available light to meet the shooter’s eye. And because it is nitrogen purged, you can use it easily in the rain or fog. UTG’s True Strength Platform also makes it stand up well against shocks. 

    Etched in glass, this reticle showcases UTG’s Tactical Range Estimating or TRE. The Mil-dot illuminated reticle is useful as a range-finding tool. You can use it as a holdover for bullet drop or to correct wind drift. The reticle has the ability for dual-color mode, as well as 36 more color options. There are five brightness settings for both the colors red and green. Your desired brightness and color settings can be accessed quickly with the EZ-Tap housing buttons. This will help you to adjust to the available weather or light conditions, allowing for excellent image quality. If you don’t use the illumination, you will see a black reticle similar to other scout scopes. The reticle has a simple one-touch memory on and off button which you can enable to more efficiently conserve battery power.

    We value the eye relief on this model, which is 9.5” to 11”. However, some users say they can push it out to 12” and not see a difference. 

    The scope comes with its own set of Picatinny/Weaver 30mm quad-mount scope mounts. And because it has the ability for long eye relief, the use of a riser on the stock for an M1A scout rifle is unnecessary. You can mount it on your Ruger Scout .308 for a great scout rifle/scope combo. 

    The optics are great and this unit is well-made. You won’t easily lose your adjustments due to the adjustable turrets that are set with positive clicks and are lockable. Set your zero distance and you’re good to go. This scope has a Side Wheel Adjustable Turret (SWAT) which you can use for parallax adjustment from “true 10 yards” and up for those long-range shots. You can also go back to your original zero quickly. 

    Some things we like about this scope are its target-style windage and elevation turrets, which make it great for shooting at various distances. The lenses are emerald coated and the scope has a nice matte finish. The angled sunshade is a nice touch for added visibility. For all that you receive with this scope, we think it is a great bargain for those on a budget.

    PROS

    • 9.5” to 11” eye relief
    • Affordable
    • Built-in sunshade
    • Illuminated reticle

    CONS

    • On the heavy side
    • Some users complain of blurriness after 4x magnification

    2Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex

    This scope comes with a fixed magnification. Since many scout scopes do not utilize magnification adjustment, this will probably not be an issue for most. If you don’t have perfect 20/20 vision, you might want to wear your glasses.

    Eye relief is at 9.3”. This long eye relief is a must for a scout rifle. The lenses of this scope use a Twilight Maximum Light Management System, which enables 20 extra minutes of light availability early or late in the day. This is due to glare reduction which adds edge-to-edge clarity. The only other brand with this type of clarity in this price range in Nikon; no one else comes close. 

    This unit is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. We are also impressed with this scope’s ability to withstand temperatures at extremes of -40F to 160F. 

    Recoil is applied at 3x the standard .308 rounds, which means you are good to put it on anything. The optic is bright and clear, allowing you the ability to hold up to a high recoil on a rifle with a large caliber. 

    The hunting duplex reticle is pretty standard. Properly mounted on a rail, the crosshair will provide you easy acquisition. You can even mount it on a big bore rifle. 

    We have found this scope to be well-built, with long eye relief, and for a reasonable price. It is perfect for the bolt action scout. We recommend it for hunting due to its compactness, weatherproofing, and durability. You won’t need zoom, accuracy, or bullet drop ballistics. This model’s lightweight quality would make it a good match for a Ruger scout rifle. You will easily be able to shoot at or under 100 yards with it, no problem. Besides the lack of magnification adjustment, this has everything you would want in a scout scope.

    PROS

    • Compact
    • Duplex BDC reticle
    • Lightweight
    • Lenses are bright and clear
    • The light management system allows for extra light in the morning and evening

    CONS

    • Non-adjustable magnification scope

    3Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32mm Scout

    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    • The 2-7x32 Crossfire II Scout Riflescope is perfect for Use on your Scout rifle, The V-Plex reticle is a popular all-purpose hunting reticle intended for a wide variety of hunting applications

    The Vortex Optics Crossfire II Scout is made for scout rifles with a mid-length mount. This one is great for demanding shooters. 

    You can magnify your scope 2x to 7x, and it is especially easy with the fast-focus eyepiece, ultra-forgiving eye box, and V-Plex reticle. Eye relief is 9.45”, so it is best to mount the optic right in front of the receiver. The V-Plex MOA reticle can be used as an all-purpose hunting reticle that can be used in a variety of applications. The ultra-forgiving eye box allows you to acquire your target and sight it quickly. The fast-focus is a great feature for those shooters that have glasses. 

    The lenses have an anti-reflective multi-coating which works well for hunting, allowing you to stay more camouflaged from your target. You will have clear views even in times of dim light at dawn or dusk. 

    The 1” tube is made of a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum with a hard-anodized finish, making it easy to find scope mount bases. The turrets are finger adjustable with MOA clicks, and you can easily cap it to make sure it is not bumped to the wrong setting. Reset it to zero after sighting in. The housing is nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed. This allows the scope to stand up against water, fog, and shock. Use it in a hunting or tough survival situation, and it won’t let you down. 

    The Crossfire II is very durable, which is what you want in a scout scope. And despite its good quality, it still comes at a competitive price tag, giving you one of the best values. This model pairs especially well with your old Mosin Nagant due to its generous eye relief working with such heavy recoil. 

    This well-made scout scope comes with Vortex’s lifetime warranty, allowing you peace of mind. You will be happy with this reliable, high-performing scope. 

    PROS

    • Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum
    • Long  9.45” eye relief
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Great hunting reticle
    • Versatile
    • Second focal plane scope

    CONS

    • Some users reported blur at a higher magnification

    4Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x

    Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting Riflescope, 2X-7X-32mm
    • Scout Scope fixed 2.75x-20mm matte black heavy plex

    Burris is an underrated player in the scout scope game. However, it is important to remember that they were one of the first manufacturers on the scene, practically inventing them. Their industry know-how is apparent when we check out the scout rifle optic, Burris Ballistic Plex.

    With a 2x-7x magnification range and 32mm objective lens, it is perfect as a scout scope. The magnification adjustment knob has a low-profile. The BDC reticle also helps make longer shots easier. You can use the Ballistic drop maks to shoot at varied and extended distances, allowing you to shoot without complicating it with elevation and windage knobs. The most beneficial part of this optic, however, is its quick ability to acquire a target while you keep both eyes open. This allows for maximum visibility, which in turn means better accuracy. 

    The slim diameter of this scope gives it a low profile which makes it easier to maneuver. The crisp, bright lenses allow for clear images due to their high-quality, index-matched, multi-coated glass. This scope’s 1” tube is purged with nitrogen to make it fog-proof, waterproof, and can stand up to even the most extreme temperature changes. The scope won’t shift adjustments under recall. This Burris model has obtained a shockproof rating as it has been tested for very heavy recoil, so 7.62x54R users won’t have a problem. 

    This scope’s turrets are steel-on-steel precision-fitted. Simply push to turn, then release with an audible click to lock. Whether it gets jostled or is bumped accidentally, the optic won’t lose its zero. The generous eye box is easy to align, easy target acquisition with a clear picture, and helpful magnification. 

    The Ballistic Plex reticle is simple and easy to use due to its uncluttered design. It allows for precision with its trajectory compensation up to 500 yards. This great clarity combines with great quality, making it a solid optic to use. 

    This scope requires a little more money out of your pocket, but it is worth it if you can afford it. We think the clarity and durability are worth it. It even comes with the Burris Forever Warranty, which also transfers to a new owner if you sell it. Burris is known for its excellent customer service. We consider this the best variable power scope for an M1A scout.

    PROS

    • Great eye relief and generous eye box
    • Precision accuracy
    • Durable
    • Low-profile

    CONS

    • Doesn’t quick focus for illumination feature

    5Bushnell Trophy Scout Rifle Scope With Multi-X Reticle

    Bushnell Trophy Scout Rifle Scope with Multi-X Reticle, 2-7 x 36mm, Matte Black
    • Fully multi-coated optics and rain guard HD offer 91% light transmission in any weather

    Bushnell has excellent optics; some of the best in the world. This Bushnell Trophy Scout Rifle Scope is no exception.

    This optic is 100% waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof, aided by the nitrogen purged tube. Since it is lightweight and low-profile, we recommend you use it for off-grid hunting and survival. These are the qualities you want in a backcountry scout scope. 

    The adjustable magnification goes from 2x to 7x. Some users have trouble with blurriness above 4x. This is common with scopes in this price range. This optic is quite adaptable to the rifle you choose to use it with. You can also find a side parallax focus adjustment on select models. This model is especially good when using lower magnification options. These work well for hunting on a dark foggy day. 

    We like the generous eye box, the fast-focus eyepiece, and ample eye relief of 7.9” to 12”. This allows for many forward-mounting options. You can easily get on target quickly and efficiently while having edge-to-edge clarity with the fully multi-coated lenses. The fast-focus eyepiece is imperative if your vision isn’t perfect. Also aiding with visibility is the Rainguard HD lens coating, which allows plenty of light transmissions, even on dark and stormy days. It is said that the Rainguard will transfer 91% of the light straight to the eye, all while keeping water out. All you have to worry about is finding the target in your field of view and the scope will bring it out in clear, bright detail. 

    You can easily adjust the windage and elevation with the adjustable finger turrets with ¼ MOA. 

    It is quite simple to zero in with this scope. It can withstand heavy recoil, enabling you for accuracy for rounds and rounds. You will see it holding its zero after 300 rounds, no problem. 

    Bushnell offers a no questions asked lifetime warranty. And if you want a scope that can handle deer hunting recoil, but still cost a reasonable price, this is the one for you. You can use it for every hunting application due to its light transmission, generous eye relief, and great clarity. 

    PROS

    • Fast target acquisition
    • Good eye relief
    • Easily handles heavy recall
    • Lifetime warranty

    CONS

    • Can get blurry over 4x magnification

    Our Winner

    Overview
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    Title
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    Price
    $149.00
    Rating
    -
    Details
    Overview
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    Title
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    Price
    $149.00
    Rating
    -
    Details

    As our top pick, we have selected the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32mm Scout. It has a great combination of versatility, durability, and helpful eye relief. We also like the second focal plane that is located near the eyepiece. It doesn’t change in size when you enhance the magnification, which allows for a reliable and quick shot no matter how many knobs you are turning or buttons you are pushing. This scope is great for all-purpose hunting, survival, and self-defense applications, which is the epitome of what scout shooting is all about.

    How Do Scout Scopes Differ From Other Scopes?

    Scout scopes are bigger compared to the handgun variants because they are intended to be used for long-distance shots. Handgun scopes have a more forgiving eye box. Both are recoil-proof and have extended eye relief. Although you can put a handgun scope on any rifle, there will be problems because the parallax settings will be off. 

    Scout scopes also tend to be more magnified and precise than red dot scopes. They tend to have very narrow crosshairs, while red dots have about 4 to 8 MOA. This can obscure your target. Plus there are no batteries to drain in a scout scope, which makes it a little more worry-free. 

    Choose a scout scope that will suit your general-purpose shooting needs. We value all of these choices due to their ability to let you shoot with both eyes open from a long distance. Any of our top picks will get the job done for you. Regardless of what you choose, be safe, have fun, and keep your eyes on your target!

    Bonus tip: Check out this video on some tips for correctly mounting your scope for the most possible eye relief!

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    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.